• Emily Kazmierczak

The Process: First Steps

Have you ever wondered what the publishing process is like?

I have too and over the course of the this semester I am going to walk you through the process as I go through it and share my experience and advice on the process.

As of now we are in the early stages of development. We receive your poems (and we can until March 27th, 2020 in case you haven't submitted yet!) and then they are screened against first: the submission criteria. I cannot stress this enough, read the submission guidelines and follow them! For any publication this is going to be the first thing that they look for, if you don't follow their guidelines many of them will just send that poem to the rejection folder without even reading it. Which is a huge bummer because, unfortunately, content does not matter at that stage in the publication process.

The next biggest thing would be content. There is one big question that you, the author, are going to need to ask yourself: Is the content appropriate? This is important because knowing he audience that is going to be reading this is going to change what kind of language you can use, what themes are appropriate, and if your piece is a good fit for a publication at all. Luckily, here at Poetry Leaves, our content requirements are relatively lax compared to other magazine and anthology publications. We ask that your poems refrain from using mature language and themes. That's it! Easy as that.

Some publications may be a little more selective than us though, so make sure to look out for special issues and themes that they may be looking for. If your poem does not fit the theme then they might just reject it, but fear not, that does not mean your poem is bad. It could mean a couple different things:

  • You didn’t meet their submission guidelines.

  • The theme of your poem wasn’t what they wanted for their special issue

  • Grammatical errors

  • Your poem may not be a good fit for that magazine (try other publications!)

  • You might just need to do a little more revision

None of these things mean that you're a bad writer. Getting rejected comes with the territory but if you do some research on the magazine/publication and craft your poem to reflect that then your chances of getting accepted are a little more hopeful.

The process on my end is a long one but so worthwhile when I get to read all of the wonderful poetry that has been submitted by our community! My next update will be on the exhibition side of it and what goes into creating the leaves that house your poems!

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